Guide Bios

Wondering what your guide will be like? We’ve compiled some of our guide bios for you to have a read of.

John Curtin

In 2012 John took early retirement from his 40 year career in Banking in order to pursue his hillwalking hobby as a guide for which he had been passionate about for many years. Delighted with the opportunity to work with Ireland Walk Hike Bike he took to our guide team like a duck to water. Previously John has been a walking guide for his local clubs accumulating a wealth of experience over the past 20 years. He has led groups in various parts of Ireland but spends most of his time in West Cork and Kerry but also enjoying hiking abroad, the Camino walks in Spain and more recently a trek to the base camp at Everest. Johns favourite thing about guiding, aside from the beautiful scenery is the companionship and comradery that develops from sharing the walks with his groups.

Denis O’Mahony

Originating from County Cork Denis is a true Corkonian with a gentle manner about him and a lovely character. A retired Geography teacher with an interest in the physical landscape and lifelong avid hiker he knows the hills like the back of his hand. He possesses a great sense of navigation, common sense and safety and respect for the environment giving him a great interest in our Leave no Trace policies. His love of hiking and walking led him to start up his own club near Bandon and become WGL and REC qualified. This passion has led him to hike all over Ireland and outside Ireland, including places like the Camino. He has always been very attentive to his groups, predominantly guiding many of our “Specials” particularly in the South West of Ireland. Denis is very interested in sports, politics, current affairs and cycling. He has 35 years’ experience coaching and mentoring school football and hurling teams.

Paul Howley

Toni O’ Brien

Toni has worked with us as a guide since 2007. A seasoned traveller she has trekked worldwide, including the Grand Canyon, the Inca trail, all the great walks of New Zealand as well as a lot of back-country hiking, to name but a few. She is also a very keen cyclist and reckons that Ireland is the best country in the world for cycle trips! Toni has a very keen interest in Irish history and archaeology, as well as our myths and music. She has participated in many fascinating volunteer projects in NZ and has worked as a teacher, a fitness instructor, a professional driver and more. An enviable lifestyle between Ireland and New Zealand keeps Toni out on the hills all year! One thing is for sure, you will never be short of chat with Toni.

Linda Woods

Linda has been hiking the hills of Ireland since she was about 6 years of age! Introduced to the wonders of Ireland by her father, she gradually realised just how special Ireland is as a country & how little “tourists” really see of this wonderful country. Coming originally from Dublin, Linda undertook a Tourism Studies Course in Tralee, Co. Kerry as a mature student. Realising a dream, she then set up and has gradually grown Ireland Walk Hike Bike over the past 20 years. Hiking and documenting walks in the winter is followed by her passion of showing people the “real” Ireland in the summer as she guides and hikes all along the west coast of Ireland with various groups. Linda says “I have a good overall knowledge of Ireland’s history, culture, geography, and people, and I just love showing everyone the Ireland that I grew up into and now feel privileged to know so well. By taking people into the hills I feel it really gives a tremendous experience and feel for what Ireland is about”. While safety and a comfortable pace are Linda’s priority anything can happen during her walks and it has been known to happen that she has been left behind by her group while chatting to a farmer or getting engrossed in an explanation to one person! You have been warned… Ireland IS an experience with Linda as your guide!

Joe O’Donnell

Joe has been living in the west of Ireland for most of his life & knows the mountains in this region like the back of his hand. He has been walking mountains all around Ireland – and his favourite remain in the West. He has also walked extensively outside of Ireland. After 35 years of teaching Geography, he has recently retired and is delighted to have such a unique insight into the landscape that makes Ireland, providing us with mountains, forests, bogs, beaches,cliffs, sand dunes, lakes and rivers as well as enormous evidence of human habitation going back thousands of years. He also adores the Burren region and the Aran Islands which provide Ireland with probably the most distinctive landscape in Europe. While hill-walking is his favourite past-time, Joe also has a keen interest in current affairs, politics and sport. Joe is really looking forward to guiding you on the many walks that show off this magnificent area of Ireland.

Maurice Whelan

John Leisk

John lives near the Cork–Kerry Border where he spends his free time walking and trekking. He is very familiar with local way marked routes throughout Munster and along the Wild Atlantic Way.He has guided people through out the region for many years. A founding member of his local walking group and organises treks throughout the year. He has walked abroad including various stages of the Camino De Santiago and has trekked to Everest Base Camp, Nepal. John is an experienced First Aider and has mountain navigation skills. As a college lecturer and Business manager John has developed excellent people and communication skills.

Elaine Farrell

Elaine has been an avid traveller all her life. Her favourite book is her passport. As well as scaling the mountains of Ireland and Britain she has travelled to and trekked all over the world, taking in Morocco, Nepal, Tasmania, Borneo, and many mainland European/Scandinavian countries, to name a few. She is also a professional photographer and spent 4 months in 2016 volunteering in the Borneo jungle as Expedition Photographer. Last year she cycled the Wild Atlantic Way, a route from Cork to Derry along the west coast of Ireland, totalling 2500kms. Guiding in Ireland for the summer season she brings her love of her country to life through treks and hikes tailored just for you.


Tomas O’Hanrahan

Connemara is a boundless, beautiful region in Ireland and still harbours many great Irish traditions as well as being a stronghold for the Irish language. This is why Tomas has chosen to live here for the last 12 years. Specialising in this region of Ireland he is full of great walking ideas and places to visit all over this fabulous part of Ireland. His enthusiasm for our native Irish culture is infectious as he endeavours to immerse you into as much “Irish-ness” as he can manage during your holiday. He is a Failte-Ireland Approved Marine and Countryside Guide with a passion for the hills. Tomas has been a member of the Galway Walking club for the past 15 years and has previously hiked the Camino de Santiago, West Highland Way, Cairngorms, Denali, and McCarty in Alaska.

Sean Crean - Guide Bios

Sean Crean

Sean met Linda Woods in Kerry in 2014 while on one of his regular walking breaks around Ireland and jumped at a chance to be a guide. Passionate about walking, and with a love of the outdoors he spends most of his time walking the Dublin and Wicklow mountains but can be regularly spotted around the rest of Ireland. He has walked most of the routes of the Camino de Santiago, including Madrid to Santiago, a distance of 800 km. Sean has a lot of hobbies and interests like reading, hill walking, making hiking sticks, foraging for food, cooking and baking, writing, playing music, golf, fishing and shooting. This makes him a wealth of knowledge for any group he takes out. He resides in Dublin with his wife Marian and has two grown up sons.

Mary Riordan

A retired Local Government Official for 5 years now, Mary has been guiding with Ireland Walk Hike Bike (SouthWest Walks) for 15 years. She has travelled extensively, hiking around the world and has been to all the continents including Antarctica. She frequently partakes in Winter sports, X country skiing and snowshoeing, writing articles for Walking World Ireland magazine about her hiking/winter trips along the way. She fundraises for charities including Breast Cancer Research and Blindness often taking part in sponsored treks. Some of her hobbies include biking, golf, horse racing, good food and wine, the theatre, music and movies. She likes to guide because of her love of nature and the environment, and the company of interesting people.

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Ireland Walk Hike Bike
Collis Sandes House, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Tel: +353667186181


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